Kufa City Centre Urban Regeneration
We were commissioned to prepare an Urban Design Plan for the regeneration of the historic Kufa City Centre. Kufa was once the capital of the Islamic world and has two important mosques, as well the remains of the 7th century Governor’s Palace. The challenge was to find a way of conserving the urban fabric of the city, while providing appropriate settings for Kufa’s mosques, with better road access, a city park and much-needed community facilities.
The proposed tramway route between Najaf and Kufa was seen as a significant opportunity for revitalising the city. Our proposals involved new neighbourhoods, community facilities and public utilities as a catalyst for urban regeneration.
An important aspect of the Plan was the creation of religious precincts around the Al-Sahla Mosque and the Grand Mosque. These are needed to accommodate the increasing numbers of pilgrims visiting the holy sites of Kufa. The latter includes the house of Ali Ibn Abu Talib, the fourth Caliph who was murdered in the Grand Mosque in 661 AD.
We undertook detailed studies of parking within the city centre and of the waterfront to the Euphrates River. The latter was conceived as a landscaped leisure corniche acting as a regional resource for the general province of Najaf.
The commission made extensive use of ArcGIS for analysis and Esri CityEngine to produce interactive 3D visualizations of the resulting Urban Design Plan. Our allied company Howgill Planning partnered with the distinguished Iraqi consultants Dar Al Imara in order to undertake this prestigious project.